Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't Get Scammed!


By Karen Saley, Extension Specialist

There have always been people in our society more than willing to take advantage of others, and today is no exception. Scams abound and with the new technology we have today it has become increasingly difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

Think you can get some help from the government with your past due mortgage? Looking for a little help restoring you questionable credit? Want to meet a few new friends on a social networking site? Looking for a job? It seems no matter what you are looking for there is someone ready to scam you.

These are just a few of the hundreds of scams being perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.

Government grants scam
Instant credit repair
Cash-for-gold scam
Mystery shopping scam
Social networking scams
Courier cons
Odometer fraud
Free gas card promotion
iPhone purchasing website scam
Twitter Work-at-Home Money-Making Schemes

What can you do to avoid becoming a victim?

If you are signing a contract, read the fine print
Research the company before doing business with them
Don’t respond to emails, phone calls, and mail that you did not initiate
Do not give out personal information in any form
Don’t follow links provided in emails even if they look like legitimate sites

If you do find yourself a victim or potential victim of a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at By doing so your report along with hundreds or thousand of other reports can help authorities stop the scam and prosecute the scammers.

Remember…if it’s too good to be true, it most likely is.

Want to learn more? Join Extension Specialist Karen Saley and Jason Ohman from Pinellas County Justice & Consumer Services on September 16th for a 30 minute webinar.


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Company and product listings do not represent endorsement by either: Pinellas County Extension, Pinellas County or the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.